The last several generations of scholars have made great progress in illuminating the mundane details of J. S. Bach’s working life. Our intense focus on this famous composer, however, has skewed our understanding of his era. If we are to truly know the world Bach inhabited, we need to learn more about the musical lives of ordinary people. This book explores the musical culture of Bach’s Germany from the perspectives of those who lived in it. The protagonists are not famous composers but rather amateur and professional musicians, patrons, instrument builders, and audience members. They are treated here not as extras in the grand sweep of music history, but rather as stars in their own private dramas.
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